at Rock Point School

Experiencing History: A Trip to the Heart of the Civil Rights Movement

Posted by Molly Huddle Coffey | May 15, 2023


This spring, Rock Point School staff and students joined forces with other community leaders and planned a pilgrimage to the heart of our country's civil rights movement. On May 12th, our group of travelers set off at 3:30 am to catch their flight to Atlanta and then drive to Selma, Alabama. In Selma, students and staff met with activists who participated in the Selma to Montgomery March of 1965 and visited the historic Edmund Pettus Bridge, where civil rights activists marched for voting rights and were attacked on “Bloody Sunday.” This is just one of the many historical landmarks of the Civil Rights Movement students will visit in Selma, Montgomery, and Atlanta. They will also visit several churches that were significant in the battle for civil rights as well as museums and memorials dedicated to preserving our history.

As we prepared to send five students and two staff on the trip, Mark Spigos, our History teacher, created a school-wide unit on the Civil Rights movement. During this unit, students watched pieces of the acclaimed documentary Eyes on the Prize, particularly focused on school desegregation. As students learned more about the fight for desegregation in the courts as well as in the streets, they began to explore the connections between the political battles happening in schools right now and those happening in the 1950s and 60s. This lead to the big question of why schools so often become the center of these political and moral debates.

Mary Hamilton, our Office and Systems Manager, is excited to be on this trip as a continuation of her personal and professional work in anti-racism. “While it's one thing to listen to speakers, read books, and have discussions, I expect it will be a wholly different experience to stand in the places where black lives were systematically taken and are now memorialized, as well as be immersed in the place and history of the civil rights movement.” Students also expressed a strong interest in seeing firsthand places they have learned about in history class and meeting individuals who were part of the Civil Rights Movement. 

We can’t wait for this group to share more about their experiences on this trip when they return later this week!



Topics: Open & Inclusive, academics